Monday, February 25, 2013

Madam Ho Chwee Neo (Bukit Brown)

Madam Ho Chwee Neo, the first wife of Mr Gan Eng Seng laid peaceful for many years in Hill 2 Division B, of Bukit Brown until the news of 8 lane way highway prompted her descendants to step in to "move house" for her one more time. In today's Strait Times (February 25) obituary section, it was announced that her remains will be exhumed on March 7, 2013.

In memory of Madam Ho Chwee Neo
(source: The Straits Times)

Remembering Madam Ho Chwee Neo (Mrs Gan Eng Seng)
Madam Ho Chwee Neo died on October 25, 1934 at the age of 88 years at her residence in 162 Sims Avenue. She is survived by 2 sons (Gan Tiang Poh and Gan Tiang Kwee) and 4 daughters. Her peg no is 1966. Although soon to be no longer in Bukit Brown, she is not forgotten and is remembered by her descendants and the Bukit Brown community affectionately known as "Brownies".

Madam Ho Chwee Neo

Madam Ho Chwee Neo (seated in the middle)


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ong Boon Tat (Bukit Brown)

Mr Ong Boon Tat (son of Mr Ong Sam Leong) was born in Singapore in 1888. He studied in Raffles Institution and won a Guthrie Scholarship. He was a Justice of Peace and Municipal Commissioner for 5 years. Mr Ong Boon Tat was the managing director of of New World Limited (New World Park). He was a Director at Overseas Assurance Corporation (during the time where the Chairman was Mr Lim Nee Soon).

In the early 1900's, a young Ong Boon Tat stepped into the offices of the Straits Times to apply for the position of shorthand reporter and did a good job of it during a time where the entire editorial team is made of Europeans. However his family business activities came calling and he had to leave. He however never lost interest and later in life became the director of the Malayan Tribune Press Ltd. As the head of the firm Ong Sam Leong and Co, who were the contractors for Christmas Island, he had to travel to Christmas Island to deal with workers unrest / riot there in 1919. He also expanded the company to Penang. Ong Boon Tat was a well travelled man and a well known socialite.

Portrait of Ong Boon Tat
Mr Ong Boon Tat
Ong's and New World 
Established in 1923 by Ong Boon Tat and Ong Peng Hock, the New World was the pioneer amusement park in Singapore. It was the inspiration of their mother, Mrs Ong Sam Leong and her love for operatic shows that encouraged their son's foray into this business.  New World was also the venue sponsor that supported many of the China Relief Fund activities . The Governer, Sir Cecil Clementi visited New World in 1923 to grace the Empire Shopping Week held at its premises.
New World
New World - Ong Boon Tat and Ong Peng Hock
New World 
In 1938, its air-conditioned cabaret opened with great fan fair by the President of the Municipal Commissioners, Mr. W. Bartley and witnessed by 1,500 guest. The air-con 4,400 sq ft sprung dance floor was built at the cost of $290,000. It was the largest of its kind east of the Suez. Other activities in New World included international boxing tournaments, "ronggeng" competitions and beauty contest. "Talkies" theatres entertained many and Chinese and Malay operas too.

The air-con cabaret was shelled and bombed by the Japanese and a new one rebuilt in 1947 by Ong Peng Hock and Shaw Ltd at a cost of $350,000.

In 1963, Shaw Brothers took over, acquiring majority stake. In 1970 they opened a $300,00 Pacific Theatre, a air-conditioned 700 seater that screen's Mandarin Films. In 1987, it was bought over by City developments for $35 million and redeveloped into residential property (City Square residences).

Death
On July 5 1941, while Ong Boon Tat and his friends were inspecting a sea pavilion that was being constructed at his new house in Pulau Dama Laut, it collapsed and buried them. Mr Ong Boon Tat survived but was in shock, while his friend, Mr Low Kim Swee died instantly. Ong Boon Tat died on July 8, 1941 at the General Hospital, never recovering from his injuries and shock plus the fact that he had health problem's of the heart for the past few years. He leaves behind two widows, 4 sons (Ong Tiang Wee, Ong Tiang Guan, Ong Tiang Choon and Ong Tiang Hin ) and 3 daughters (Ong Lim Neo, Ong Kwai Kheng, Ong Kwai Yong), 2 son-in-laws (Tan Gim Yang, Liu Yoke Lin). New World Park and Cabaret was closed as a mark of respect. The family also requested that wreaths need not be send but rather be donated to the War Fund or China Relief Fund.

Mr Ong Boon Tat 

Mr and Mrs Ong Boon Tat in Bukit Brown
Family

Son: Ong Tiang Wee ( T.W. Ong )
His eldest son, Ong Tiang Wee ( T.W. Ong ) was also a Municipal Commissioner. In 1932, he married Miss Getrude Chung Tiam Fook (the only daughter of Mr and Mrs William Chung Tiam Fook, a diamond merchant in British Guiana, South America. Getrude herself was awarded the M.B.E and a Certificate of Honor for her contributions in the Blood Transfusion Service.
Ong Tiang Wee

Getrude Chung, Ong Tian Wee's wife  (middle)

Son: Ong Tiang Guan, Wallie
Ong Tiang Guan, Wallie married Miss Chua Hock Tay, Phyllis (the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Chua Cheng Hock of Malacca). Chua Cheng Hock was one of the directors in Cycle and Carriage and is also buried in Bukit Brown. The wedding took place at the brides home at 21 Scotts Road and reception held at New World cabaret where over 1,000 guest attended !
Ong Tiang Guan and Miss Chua Hock Tay

Daughter: Ong Kwai Yong, Lucette
Miss Ong Kwai Yong , Lucette (daughter of Mr and Mrs Ong Boon Tat) married Mr Liew Yeok Lin (son of the late Mr Liew Fong Phiow and Mrs Liew Fong Phiow) in September 17, 1939 at the Kheh Community Guild, 20 Peck Seah Street.

Mr Liew Yeok Lin and Miss Ong Kwai Yong 

Wife: Madam Oon Chim Neo 
Mrs Ong Boon Tat nee Madam Oon Chim Neo is the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Oon Chin Soon. She was one of the earlier batches of chinese ladies to receive western education and graduated top of her class from the Singapore Chinese Girls School. Madam Oon's father,  Mr Oon Chin Soon was the chief cashier at Messrs. Katz Bros. Ltd. (Mr Oon passed away in April 1929 and is buried in Bukit Brown).Madam Oon Chim Neo passed away at the age of 31 on March 12, 1917 at her father's house in 6 Balmoral Road and had a son, Mr Ong Tiang Wee.

Wife: Madam Gwee Soon Neo 
Mrs Ong Boon Tat nee Gwee Soon Neo passed away at the age of 58 on August 29, 1952 at 10:50 am at Bukit Rose, 259, Bukit Timah Road after several months of illness. She is survived by her sons, Ong Tiang Wee, Ong Tiang Guan, Ong Tiang Hin, daughters; Ong Lim Neo and Ong Moh Eng. Grandchildren; Ong Eng Yeow, Ong Eng Kong, Ong Eng Sim, Ong Sin Leng, Ong Sin Qui and Ong Chong Bee. Madam Gwee Soon Neo is buried in Bukit Brown, next to Ong Boon Tat.

Madam Gwee Soon Neo
(photo courtesy of Sharon Ong )



Wife: Madam Tham Yim Seong
Mrs Ong Boon Tat nee Tham Yim Seong passed away at the age of 83 on August 30, 1978, leaving behind a son, Ong Tiang Choon and other sons and daughters. The cortege left from 221 Tembeling Road for Mount Vernon.


References
Untitled. (1919, December 27). The Straits Times, page 8
Police Escort for Bride. (1932, September 18). The Straits Times, page 5
Empire Shopping Week Exhibition at New World. (1932, May 28). Malayan
400 Guest Entertained.(1932, December 6). Singapore Daily News, page 5
Developments of the New World. (1935, October 8). The Singapore Free Press, page 23
New World Air-conditioned cabaret open last night. (1938, May 22). The Straits Times, page 7
Cabaret girls act in China war play.(1939, June 12). The Straits Times, page 13
Untitled. (1940, September 21). The Straits Times, page 11
Chinese old style wedding. (1940, September 20). The Straits Times, page 11
Death of Mr Ong Boon Tat. (1941, July 9). The Singapore Free Press, page 3
Death. (1941, July 14). The Straits Times, page 2
Death of Mr Ong Boon Tat after accident on island. (1941, July 9). The Straits Times, page 10
Two Deaths in one mishap. (1941, July 23). The Straits Times, page 11
Death.(1952. August 30). The Straits Times, page 6
Deaths.(1978, September 1). The Straits Times, page 24
New World Amusement Park. [website]. Blog to Express.
Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A morning in Tampines Eco

It was long tiring working week and the weekend was a welcome blessing to rest and get back in touch with mother nature. Unfortunately i woke up late, but nevertheless was determine to make a trip to Tampines Eco Green. After having a hearty breakfast from my favourite masala thosai shop near Tampines library, me and my wife pressed on.
Masala Thosai
When we arrived, it was already 9 am and the sun was out in all its glory. However it was windy and that really helped. Our perseverance paid of as we saw a number of beautiful birds today and was very excited that i managed to get a nice shot of a sunbird, hovering in flight. We had a great walk and morning and look forward to future walks here since it has been several months since i came here. Hope you like some of the pictures i took.
Sunbird hovering in flight 

Changeable Hawk (Pale morph) in flight 

Common Kingfisher

Blue-tailed Bee eater (too far away for my camera) 
Birds seen on Feburary 23, 9 -11:45 am

  1. Olive-backed Sunbird
  2. Common Kingfisher 
  3. Pied Fantail 
  4. Tiger Shrike 
  5. Common Iora
  6. Long-tailed Parakeet
  7. Blue-tailed Bee eater
  8. Changeable Hawk 
  9. Brahminy Kite 
  10. Pink necked Pigeon 
  11. Yellow-vented Bulbul 

Changeable lizard
Previous articles on Tampines Eco Green
Birds at Tampines Eco, posted May 29, 2011
Asian Golden Weaver at Tampines Eco Green, posted May 3, 2011
Tampines Eco Green, posted May 10, 2011
Tampines Eco revisited, posted on November 10, 2011

Monday, February 18, 2013

First person to be buried in Bukit Brown

Madam Koh Beng Choo, died at the age of 50 was listed as the first person to buried in Bukit Brown when it officially became a Municipal Cemetery managed by the British Colonial Government. Based on the burial records, she was interned on April 5, 1922.

Madam Koh Beng Choo
Burial Register (source: NAS)


When she was first interned there, Bukit Brown was not a popular public cemetery among the chinese who previously were either buried in their own clan cemetery which provided slightly more better flexibility in terms of size of the tomb as well as the ability to choose their orientation (i.e. where the tomb faced). 

See Tiong Wah and Tan Kheam Hock, Municipal Commissioners in charge of chinese affairs and responsible for formation of Bukit Brown, made some improvements in terms of space and provided flexibility to those who could afford it to buy more than 1 lot for either themselves or their families.With this improvements, it became popular again. 

Madam Koh Beng Choo's tomb is narrowly missed by the 8 lane highway and not affected. It is located in Hill 1 Division A. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yeo Bian Chuan (Bukit Brown)

Yeo Bian Chuan was born in Rhio (Riau island of Indonesia which was under Netherlands East Indies control). He came at a very young age to Singapore and was educated in Singapore. He was a produce broker and the senior partner of Messrs. Yeo Bian Chuan and Co, 22-A Change Alley. After residing in the Straits Settlement for the past 52 years ,he was naturalised as a British subject in 1921.
Yeo Bian Chuan
(source: NewspaperSG) 

Singapore Mutiny
On February 15, 1915, Indian soldiers of the 5th Madras Light Infantry (Indian Army or sepoys) revolted, killing more than 40 British officers, residents and locals. The mutiny came to be known as the "Singapore Mutiny". An estimated 800 mutineers were involved, killing more than 40 British officers, residents and locals. It started with a dangerous cocktail of propaganda, poor leadership and misinformation from various parties (including a German prisoner) leading to this mutiny. It was finally quelled with assistance of British allies and the Singapore Volunteer Infantry. To commemorate this event, two memorial tablets have been placed at the entrance of the Victoria Memorial Hall and four plaques at the St Andrew's Cathedral. A total of 36 mutineers were executed at Outram Prison.

A hero forgotten
During the chaos, Yeo Bian Chuan harboured at his house in 155 Pasir Panjang Road, no less than 17 Europeans who sought refuge and safety away from the mutineers who were seeking to harm them. He kept them until daybreak when help arrived. For his heroic deeds, he was awarded the option of $5,000 or a commemorative gold medal. Yeo Bian Chuan chose the commemorative gold medal. Unfortunately, he was soon forgotten and the gold medal never arrived.

Death and Remembrance
Madam Chew Chye Luan (wife of Yeo Bian Chuan) died at the age of 69 on September 17, 1929. Yeo Bian Chuan passed away on October 2, 1929 shortly after the death of his wife, at his residence in 155 Pasir Panjang Road. He leaves behind a son, Yeo Bong Soo and a daughter, Madam Yeo Seok Bee (Mrs On Hup Keng). On the 15th anniversary of the Sepoy Mutiny, Yeo Bian Chuan's memory was honoured by the people who were saved by his heroic deeds.
February 15, 1930 (source NewspaperSG)
Today, he is remembered by us who "rediscovered" his forgotten tomb at Hill 1 Division B plot 14 and 15.
Tomb of Yeo Bian Chuan 

References
Death. (1929, September 21). The Straits Times, page 10
A memory of the mutiny. (1929, October 2). The Straits Times, page 11
Death. (1929, October 2).The Straits Times, page 8
The late Mr. Yeo Bian Chuan. (1929, October 3). The Singapore Free Press, page 9
Mr. R. Jumabhoy honoured. (1930, February 15). The Malayan Tribune, page 35
1915 Indian (Singapore) Mutiny. [website] Infopedia.

The last kampong in Singapore (Buangkok)

The last surviving kampong (village) cluster of houses in Singapore mainland is Kampong Lorong Buangkok. Feburary 14 was my second visit to Buangkok with my friends. The last time i visited this place was in June 2011 and am pretty glad, father time has been gentle with this place for now.

Getting there 
The nearest MRT if you are coming from the South, East or West of Singapore is the Serangoon Station (NE12 / CC13). From Serangoon Interchange, take bus 103 and get down at the bus stop that is in front of the Church of St.Vincent de Paul (bus stop: 67079). The landmark in front of you should be the Shell petrol station.
Bus stop and buses that come here
Cross Yio Chu Kang road and you should see a bridge that you will need to cross over. The bridge will bring you across the canal to Gerald Drive. After the bridge turn left and follow the road and at the bend of the road, on your right, the first house that you should be seeing is No 8 Lorong Buangkok. Welcome to Kampong Buangkok and happy exploring !

Bridge that leads you to Gerald Drive and into
Kampong Buangkok 

Photos of Kampong Buangkok 

The kampong today consist about 28 Chinese and Malay families. At its peak in the late 70's, it had about 40 families.
Kampong houses in Buangkok 

Kampong houses in Buangkok 
Kampong houses in Buangkok 

Expunged road

Remember to explore beyond the village to other parts of Buangkok especially the expunged road that is beside Buangkok. That itself is an interesting side trip to see what used to be a road that is slowly been swallowed by the forested woodlands. Some of the interesting bird life i saw while walking here was the lesser flame-backed woodpecker.
Exploring the expunged road

The road that is slowly disappearing 

The beauty that surrounds us

Some things you might not know about Kampong Buangkok

1. It is still a private land, originally owned by the late Mr Sng Teow Koon, now owned by his surviving children. The land (Mukim number MK21-00657x) is about the size of 3 football fields and based on the old 1961 map, majority of its area was still swamp land back then. 
1961 map of Lorong Buangkok and latest map detailing the size of current property
2. Due to its typography (and the fact it was once a swamp land), it was prone to flooding earning its nickname , "Kampong Selak Kain" among the Malay community living there. Selak kain means to lift up your sarung". 
Residents of Kampong Buangkok wading in water in 1976
(source: a2o)
3. There used to be a leprosy colony next door for its neighbour. Singapore Leprosy Relief Association (Silra) Home housed many lepers from the time it opened in 1971 and after Trafalgar Home for the lepers (built in 1926) closed its doors for good, it became the home for lepers. Silra Home itself was eventually closed in 2005.
Silra Home, then and now
4. The postal code for Kampong Lorong Buangkok is 1954. Singapore prior to September 1, 1995 had a 4-digit postal code. Now of course, its 6-digit. 
Lorong Buangkok  postal code 1954

Final parting shots 

Electric pole - a rarity in Singapore

Hibiscus (Bunga raya) - a well loved flower shrub
by both Malay and Chinese villagers
A constant reminder that development is
only a doorstep away  

The party might be over for Kampong Buangkok

References
40 families hit by flood.(1975, September 25). The Straits Times, page 6
Kampung Lorong Buangkok. [website]. Infopedia
The last memories of the rural Singapore of the old. [website]. The long and winding road
leprosy and relocation. [website].Work class historian 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Koh Hoon Teck and family (Bukit Brown)

Koh Hoon Teck  (died February 14, 1956) was the only son of Koh Lian Gee /Koh Lian Ghee. In his youth, he was one of the founding members of the famous Cornwall Minstrels, a singing group which included several young Babas. He remained its avid supporter, often hosting the group for their annual general meetings.

On the night of October 1908 in Orange Villa, Tai Jin Road, at the residence of Mr Ngo Yam Bee, the queue (an appendage of servitude) of Mr Koh Hoon Teck was cut in queue cutting function. Mr Koh Hoon Teck also discarded his chinese robes for full European wear amid congratulations of his friends.
Koh Hoon Teck
(source: Singapore: 500 early postcards) 

In 1909, he was elected honorary secretary for the Cornwall Minstrel group. In 1912, Koh Hoon Teck was elected as the hon. secretary of Gunong Sayang Association. He continued to play and important role in the arts scene and he was credited and forever remember by the Peranakan community for keeping the art and tradition of dondang sayang alive.

The rise and fall of Koh and Co.  

Koh Hoon Teck established Koh and Co., a bookshop company in 90 Bras Basah, Raffles Hotel, selling books, postcards and stationary. Among the popular books published and sold from Koh and Bros included Cherita Abu Nawas (Tale of Abu Nawas), Cherita Abu Nawas dan rampay rampay (Tale of Abu Nawas and Miscellaneous Tales), Pantun Dondang Sayang volumes 1 to 3. He was known to have brought in essence of stangee (scented wood) and bunga rampay (sweet scented flower).

He bought over a printing press by the name of "Rahim Brothers" and incorporated into his company, Koh and Company on November 26, 1914. By 1924, Koh Hoon Teck had to vacate the bookshop from Raffles Hotel and was also at one point taken to court by the Sarkies Brother, the landlord of Raffles Hotel for 3 months preferential payment for rent due, before the former assets (of Koh and Co) were divided by the the governments Official Assignees. This were difficult times, financially for both Koh Hoon Teck and his wife. It was described that his wife had to sell her diamond kerosangs (brooches) and charge a levy for the use of her house for the nyonya card game.
Koh & Co Books on sale and prices
(source: NewspaperSG)


Tragedy during the Japanese Occupation 

Koh Hoon Teck had six sons and 4 daughters. However during the Japanese occupation most infamous Sook Ching massacre, 3 of his sons and a son-in-law fell victim and were killed. One of them was Koh Kung Chuan, William (Koh Kong Chuan)- a Private in the Royal Army Service Corps.
(source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission) 

Gunong Sayang Association

Koh Hoon Teck was one of the founders of the Gunong Sayang Association, also known as Persatuan Gunong Sayang. The association and Koh Hoon Teck were instrumental in keeping the Peranakan theatre (acting, dancing and singing). Gunong Sayang (which means Mountain of love) was established in 1910 and Koon Hoon Teck made "pantun" singing (repartees in Malay) an art form and regular feature in Malay and Straits Chinese weddings and dondang sayang popular in Singapore. He was also a good violinist.
(source: The Peranakan)


Death and grave request


Koh Hoon Teck passed away at 168, Carpmael Road, age 78 (papers report 3 years older compared to the year on his tombstone) on February 14, 1956. He is survived by 3 sons; Koh Kong Swee. Koh Kong Leong, Max Koh, 4 daughters, 4 son-in-laws; Chin Chye Fong, Thio Keng Tiang, Wee Tiang Swee,Pang Pee Nang.

Koh Hoon Teck prior to his death requested for two things to be done. Firstly, that his hearse was to be accompanied by the singing of dondang sayang. It didn't stop there as he was buried with a song too. So, while relatives weep, his old friends from the Dondang Sayang Association sang and had a pantun party to the accompaniment of gongs, drums and violin. The meaning pantun that was recited:
"Besimila mulai pertama" 
(Oh from the begining of life )
"Dari Adam mulai Agama" 
(From Adam born of earth)
"Dunia bugan kita punya"
(this world is not ours)
"Asal manusia pulang ketanah
(Man returns to his origin) 

Secondly, Koh Hoon Teck requested that he was to be buried in a 7-tiered Ming Dynasty funeral costume with the corresponding elaborate rights and rituals of the Ming Dynasty (which was the last empire which were ruled by the Han chinese), before the Qing took over. His eldest surviving son was tasked to perform this traditional custom dressed in Ming outfit which was later removed and used to dress his father.

Koh Hoon Teck's funeral ritual

Tomb of Mr and Mrs Koh Hoon Teck
Koh Hoon Teck passed away on February 14, 1956 at the age of 75 years. Madam Lim Guan Neo passed away on August 22, 1933 at the age of 51 years.

Their tomb is located at Hill 1, Division B.


Family 

Sons and daughters
Koh Kong Seng, Koh Kong Lim, Koh Kong Leng, Koh Kong Chuan, Koh Kong Guan, Koh Kong Swee, Koh Kong Inn, Koh Kong Leong, Koh Kong Yang. Koh Kong Lee and Koh Kong Ann are names listed in Chinese only.

Sons listed in English 

Koh Gek Kee (Mrs Chin Chye Fong), Koh Gek Poh (Mrs Thio Keng Tiang), Koh Gek Seck (Mrs Wee Tiang Siew), Koh Gek Choo (Mrs Pang Pee Nang).

Sister: Koh Keng Hay
Miss Koh Keng Hay married Mr Hoe Eng Watt. The widow of the late Mr Hoe Eng Watt passed away at the age of 57 at her residence, No 193 Marine Parade Road on December 17, 1939. She is survived by her elder brother, Koh Hoon Teck, her 2 sons;  Hoe Cheng Yan, Hoe Cheng Hin, 1 adopted son; Koh Keng Leng, 4 daughters and 4 son-in-laws; Chin Chye Fong, Ee Kim Guan, Peck Teck Chee, Lim Chong Beng, 2  daughter-in-laws.

Father and Mother: Koh Lian Ghee and Wan Chin Neo 
Koh Hoon Teck gave a warm reception to many of his friends at his residence, Bunga Rampay Villa, 561 East Coast Road on the occasion of his father's 71st birthday.
Tomb of Mr and Mrs Koh Lian Ghee
Koh Lian Ghee passed away September 3, 1936 age 82 and Madam Wan Chin Neo passed away October 25, 1938 age 75. Their tomb is close by to their son, Koh Hoon Teck at Hill 1, Division B.

Grandmother: Mrs Chia Kiow Neo 
Mrs Chia Kiow Neo, mother of Koh Lian Ghee and grandmother of Koh Hoon Teck , When she passed away on January 17, 1910 at the age of 80 something,  her remains were moved from 105 Chin Swee Road to Alexandra Private cemetery.

Grandmother: Tok Selat
Tok Selat passed away on March 20, 1909 at 105 Chin Swee Road. She was the grandmother of Fam Kuan Fook, Fam Fook Sang and Koh Hoon Teck.

Videos
Koh Hoon Teck as remembered by GT Lye (a veteran female impersonator who has played the role of the Peranakan matriarch numerous times). Note of his mention of Kak Minah, the malay lady singer with the beautiful voice (see picture above).


Koh Hoon Teck as remembered by GT Lye. Note of him recalling Koh Hoon Teck's queue cutting ceremony at Ta Jin Road, house of Ngo Yam Bee, a fellow Cornwall Minstrel core (Ngo Yam Bee is buried close by, behind his tomb).

Pantun at Koh Hoon Teck's tomb


References
Discards the Queue. (1908, October 15). The Singapore Free Press, page 5
Deaths. (1909, March 22). The Straits Times, page 6
Cornwall Minstrels. (1909, October 11). The Straits Times, page 6
Social and Personal. (1910, January 24).The Straits Times, page 6
Untitled. (1912, November 8). The Straits Times, page 8
Bankruptcy Court. (1924, February 23). The Straits Times, page 9
Matters Chinese. (1925, July 22). The Singapore Free Press, page 16
Death. (1939, December 18). The Straits Times, page 2
Death.(1956, February 15). The Straits Times, page 6
Sing Pantuns for me at my funeral. (1956, February 16). The Straits Times, page 9
He was buried with a song. (1956, February 19). The Straits Times, page 5
Seng, C. J. (2006). Singapore: 500 early postcards. Editions Didier Millet.
Song, O.S. (1984). One hundred years history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press
Gwee, T. H. W. (2007, July-September). Remembering Baba Koh Hoon Teck a pioneering Baba entrepreneur. The Peranakan, pp. 19-20.
Koh Hoon Teck. [website]. Infopedia.
Dondang Sayang. [website]. Infopedia
Gunong Sayang Association. [website]. Infopedia
Thou shoult not tread the earth or see the sky. [website]. Bukit Brown Heritage Park.
And the music plays on. [website]. Bukit Brown Heritage Park.
Pantuns.[website].All things Bukit Brown.
Casualty details. [website]. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Wee Hood Lian Neo (Bukit Brown)

Wee Hood Lian Neo (Mrs Tan Ching Heng) passed away at the age of 63 on January 22, 1949 at her residence, "Villa Dolce" in 164 Tanjong Katong Road leaving behind her husband, one daughter, one adopted daughter ( Miss Tan Choo Neo, Miss Tan Geok Neo) , 2 son-in-laws, (Cheong Chee Soon, Phua Cheng Tuan). Her husband, Tan Ching Heng was the oldest employee of Robinson & Co Ltd in 1951.

Wee Hood Lian Neo tomb in Bukit Brown 
Robinson & Co. 
Mr Tan Chin Heng was a collector for Robinsons & Co. Ltd. for 46 years until he retired in 1951. He was the oldest employee of the company when he retired.
Robinson & Co at Raffles Place
(source: a2o )
Tan Ching Heng was also the Vice-President of Singapore Badminton Association during the time when Mr Chua Keh Hai was President in 1937-1938. The Singapore Championship Finals in 1933 was played in the grounds of his house in Villa Dolce !
Singapore Badminton Association
(source: NewspaperSG)
Family
When their daughter, Miss Tan Choo Neo married Mr Phua Cheng Tuan in 1933, about 300 guest attended a reception given by Mr Tan Chin Heng at his residence, Villa Dolce, Katong Road. The dinner was in chinese style and dancing followed after that. Prominent Europeans and Chinese (e.g. Tay Lian Teck, Khoo Boo Gay, Tan Boon Teck, Tay Ah Choon, Dr. Cheong Chee Hai, Dr. Lim Eng Hai) were in attendance including a number of European Robinson staff.

Villa Dolce, 164 Katong Road
(source: PictureSG)
Tan Chin Heng died on July 5, 1964. His cortege left from Mount Alvernia Hospital to Kampong Kapor Church and later Bidadari Cemetery. Wee Hood Lian Neo nee Mrs Tan Ching Heng tomb is on the path of the 8 lane highway and was already exhumed. The peg number is 1205E.


References
Badminton. (1933, December 14). The Singapore Free Press, page 16
Chinese Wedding.(1933, August 13). The Straits Times, page 1
Chinese Wedding.(1933, August 14). The Straits Times, page 1
Singapore Badminton Association. (1935, April 7). The Straits Times, page 16
Singapore Badminton Association Meeting. (1938, March 6). The Straits Times, page 28
Deaths. (1949, January 24). The Singapore Free Press, page 8
Advertisements. (1951, March 2). The Straits Times, page 2
Deaths. (1964, July 6). The Straits Times, page 18
Villa Dolce. [website] PictureSG